THE pub at Brighton Station has closed its door with staff blaming rail disruption for the failure of the business.

The Cyclist, which opened in July 2014, closed on Saturday after almost a year of strikes and replacement bus services left the station feeling like a “ghost town” according to the former chef.

A spokesman for the RMT said the union was not to blame.

James Wyatt has worked in the pub since it opened two and half years ago, when its owner promised to bring back the refreshment room atmosphere of the 19th century.

Mr Wyatt, a chef, told The Argus: “Since the strikes they’ve finally killed it off.

“I would say we went from £12,000 per week to £400 per day, it completely dropped off. We were taking a quarter of what we were taking ordinarily.

“That carried on for more than a week after the strikes, and the owner had to put in his own money.”

The Cyclist is owned by Greenwell and Tibble, the chain owned by gastropub entrepreneur Rupert Clevely, who declined to comment yesterday

Mr Wyatt said: “Everyone has lost their jobs. Just before, we had to let four or five people go, and then since closing down another ten or so.

“It’s been bad on strike days but afterwards too. It’s especially the past three or four months. People have made alternative plans.

“They’ve found other means because the chance of getting here and there because of the service.

“Even not on strike days it’s been bad.

“Every Saturday there is a bus replacement service, every Sunday there’s a bus replacement. Saturday used to be our busiest day, now it’s a meagre day.

“There simply aren’t the people in the station for the majority of the time.

“It has felt like a ghost town.”

A spokesman for Govia Thameslink said: “We were disappointed to hear the news last week that The Cyclist at Brighton has decided to close and we will be sad to see them go.

“The industrial action has been hard on everyone, including station traders. There are ongoing discussions between our agents and the pub owners which are yet to be concluded.”

A spokesman for the RMT said: “The disruption and service failures on Southern Rail predate any industrial action by our members.”